In Sept 2023 Wild Blue Cats TNR team was contacted by a man who had lost his home and the bank was trying to get the property ready for auction. The gentleman had kitties living in the house and the bank needed them removed. We went out to assess the situation. We were told that he has 10-14 cats living in the house, in the end there would be more than four times as many!! There were mama cats, kittens, barn cats, and lots of other cats of different ages. As we visited the property we realized the cats had figured out how to pull the vent covers off of the floors and were living in the ductwork. When we visited the first time on October 3rd we were able to hold quite a few of the friendly kitties. We saw a very pregnant cat that we took into foster. We were able to trap the barn cats and get them into our Bilbo’s Barn Buddies program. We saw an additional 10 indoor cats at that visit and with the help of our intake and TNR teams created a plan to assist this family.
It’s Saturday Cat-A-Day- It’s a Catapalooza! What a cat-tas-tic day to adopt a Tuxedo or Black kitty! Meet the Vent House Kitties.
On Oct 13th our trapping team arrived on the property to intake the mama and kittens and the 10 other indoor cats seen on our initial assessment, they realized that the colony was much larger than originally thought. As we looked around a cat would pop up out of a vent then another who looked identical would pop up in another room. This 3200 sq ft house had way more cats than we ever anticipated. The colony was made up almost exclusively of identical tuxedo cats and solid black cats so the owner would see one cat and then another and he thought it was the same cat…. It wasn’t. On that day what was supposed to be 10 cats plus a mama and 5 kittens turned into 25 cats trapped and we weren’t even close to being done and the project was dubbed “The Vent House”.
The property owners contacted us again because they were still seeing cats and the bank was ready to take possession of the house. Oct 24th we returned to the property and trapped another 8 cats to which the owners stated “this is the last of them!” but that was wishful thinking. They left litterboxes out in the house to confirm all the cats were out and lo and behold the litter was being used and now they were seeing kittens inside the garage. Our team returned to the property on Nov 14th and they trapped 8 more cats including the large feral male who was the daddy prime to all the kitties in the house, but there was no sign of the kittens who had been spotted in the garage by the property owner. Once again, they left out litter to confirm all indoor cats were caught and footprints and litter use appeared. We returned the for the final time on Nov 30th and trapped the last indoor kitty and 4 kittens in the garage.
After four days of checking the litterboxes for activity it was finally all quiet. We had trapped the last of the cats in The Vent House. When the final count was given to the owner, he said no wonder my food bill was $400-500 a month! He had no clue how many cats were there. His two indoor male cats had been neutered but he had 4 un-spayed indoor females, a large feral Tom cat got into the house and 3 litters of kittens per mama cat later and we have a huge number of young kitties who all look like their dad! The pregnant mama gave birth to 7 healthy kittens in foster care. The eight feral cats went out to Bilbos Barn Buddies to find new barn homes. Our mama and her 5 kittens along with some other young kittens went into Kaylene’s Kradle, our enclosure for feral mama’s and their kittens as the mama was scared and unapproachable at first (she has since become super sweet and wants all the love now) The rest of the indoor cats were scared, and unsure of humans since they had been left alone in the house, with food and water supplied daily, for nearly three months. With the persistence of our Bilbo’s, Kaylene’s, and socializing teams we have brought them all around to being loving indoor kitties who are now looking for their forever homes!
A large project like this puts a strain on all of Wild Blue Cats resources from our medical and surgical teams to the sanctuary staff and fosters who care for and feed them all. Any donations for their cost of care are greatly appreciated! Go to Wbcats.org/Donate to donate or go to WBcats.org/adopt to fill out an application for one of these adorable kitties.
Vent House Stats as of Dec 13th:
Total of 50 cats trapped and 7 born in WB care.
8 cats out of the 57 are barn cats
1 of the kittens trapped in the garage passed away suddenly from unknown reasons
7 kitties are in the sanctuary and have been socialized by our teams, all are ready for adoption now
8 friendly kitties are in Bilbo’s Barn Buddies enclosure ready for adoption
3 barn cats are still waiting on homes
11 kitties are in foster, 9 are still too little for spay/neuter and 1 is still nursing her babies
27 kitties have been adopted (5 were barn cats)